During spring Alumni Weekend, Johns Hopkins University held a series of social events to honor its milestone reunion classes. They gathered under tents, inside atria, and in other campus spaces to reconnect with classmates and share memories, some going as far back as 50 years. And for the first time during Homecoming, the university also feted the Class of 2023—the soon-to-be alums—with a dinner of its own.
"The idea was to get current seniors to feel early on that they are a part of the alumni community, even while they still are students," says Jason Heiserman, executive director of Alumni Relations.
It's one of the ways JHU seeks to ensure that new alumni are included in shared activities, even before they move on to start jobs and families, with the hope that they will be motivated to maintain the relationship.
The Alumni Association wants to make it easy to stay engaged by offering something for everyone, including in-person events in major metropolitan areas. There are also numerous virtual activities. "Regardless of where you live, you can tune in to a lecture, a cooking class, a walking tour," Heiserman says. "The one thing the pandemic really helped with was providing opportunities for people to connect regardless of where they live."
The key is to keep your personal information up-to-date at alumni.jhu .edu. "As long as we have valid address information, you will get an email for any events happening in your city," Heiserman says. "But we need your help to keep that contact information current—and we do our best to capture those addresses early on, both mailing and email addresses. Your ZIP code will put you on the list for alumni events where you live."
Events.jhu.edu lists both in-person and virtual events. These encounters promote learning opportunities and the chance to form valuable collaborations through networking among "a trusted group of like-minded people," Heiserman says. "Jobs and other affiliations come and go, but your Hopkins connection is for life. It's an exclusive club where you will always belong."